SUPPORT CFIEvery donation counts!
SUPPORT CFIEvery donation counts!
Donations from individual Fourteener enthusiasts play a critical role in CFI’s field successes. Gifts match restricted grants, while funding expenses many foundations and corporations will not cover, such as feeding field crews and transporting crews and supplies to remote trailheads.Click here to donate now
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UPDATESWhat we've been doing
- Seasonal Trail Positions Closed
– March 7, 2013
CFI is no longer accepting applications for 2013 seasonal positions. If still interested in becoming a member of our 2014 seasonal trail crew, please check … Read More
- Seasonal Trail Positions Open!
– January 9, 2013
Colorado Fourteeners Initiative will have an expanded field presence in 2013. We are looking for 16 enthusiastic, hard-working seasonal staff leaders/members to complete these projects … Read More
- Everyone Poops…Even in the Woods
– November 9, 2012
The end of the season is here. Basecamp is packed out and it’s time to clean the “groover” buckets. For an extra hundred bucks, Andy … Read More
- Finding the Word to Sum Up a Season
– November 2, 2012
What does it feel like to open 3,300 feet of new, durably constructed, sustainably located trail? No one word can describe that specific moment. The … Read More
Lloyd Athearn, Executive Director
Lloyd joined CFI in 2009 following three years serving as deputy director of the Colorado Conservation Trust, where he oversaw the organizations development, communications, finance and administration functions. Prior to that he spent 10 years as deputy director of the American Alpine Club managing media relations, public policy, publishing, development and membership marketing. His mountain conservation work has been recognized by the National Park Service and the American Alpine Club. Lloyd brings extensive experience collaborating with land managers across the country to protect alpine terrain and preserve the wilderness climbing experience. He has a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from the University of Oregon and has taken graduate coursework in Wilderness Management from the University of Montana.
Coby Gierke, Field Programs Manager
Coby comes to CFI with several years of multi-agency and youth corps experience in trails management. Most recently he worked as Zone Steward at the Presidio in Golden Gate National Recreation Area (2010-2011) and as Field Project Coordinator at Montana Conservation Corps (2009-2010). Prior seasonal trail positions included the Tahoe National Forest (2003, 2005), Yellowstone National Park (2006), Rocky Mountain National Park (2007), and Mount Rainier National Park (2008). Coby has a Bachelors in Social Science and Community Development from Portland State University.
Val Sokolowski, Field Projects Coordinator
Val comes to CFI with several years of experience running youth corps crews and working for a nonprofit trail organization. Most recently Val served as the Associate Regional Representative for the Pacific Crest Trail Association in northern California and southern Oregon (2009-2011), and Field Supervisor for the Gulf Coast Conservation Corps in Gulfport, Mississippi (2007-2008). Previously she worked in seasonal crew leadership positions at Southwest Conservation Corps in Arizona (2007, 2009) and the Student Conservation Association (2006-2009). Val has a Bachelors in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.
Jerry Mack, Controller
Jerry joined CFI in 2009 after 11 years as the controller and network administrator of the American Alpine Club. Prior to that, he spent 16 years in public finance in Denver. As a native Coloradan, Jerry grew up hiking and camping in the Rockies and by the mid-90’s had hiked all of the Fourteeners. An avid climber, he has summited peaks all over the world including Alaska, Canada, South America, Europe and Nepal. Jerry received his bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Colorado and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Ben Hanus, Sustainable Trails Coordinator
Ben joined CFI’s permanent staff in 2012, having worked with the program in a seasonal capacity since 2009. He worked two seasons on the Chicago Basin trail delineation project, then collected detailed GPS-based data on Fourteener trails during the 2011 field season. Through the Sustainable Trails project, Ben will collect GPS data during the field seasons and will analyze and model data during the winters to help CFI manage constructed Fourteener trails, which represent capital assets worth $250,000 to $400,000. Ben holds a bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. His background and field experience include high alpine trail design, construction, and restoration, crew leadership, GIS mapping and data collection, and spatial analysis.
Jess Mahanes, Development + Communications Coordinator
Jess joined CFI at the tail end of 2012. Jess has come to wear the many hats of communications, marketing and development, so CFI can continue to effectively promote our work and our mission, and keep close communications with those who matter most: our supporters. Jess acquired a bachelor’s in arts degree in both journalism and political science from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She has interned with news publications in Washington, D.C. and Louisville, Kentucky, for congressional offices and most recently served as a county-level field coordinator in President Obama’s Ohio campaign operation.
2012 seasonal staff
CFI’s 2012 seasonal field staff, from left to right: Top row: Tom Cronin, Jackie Allen, Ben Hanus, Chris Guinn, Andy Smeby, Ethan Gehl Middle: Chris Houde, Eli Allan, Jessica Wagner, Val Sokolowski, Coby Gierke Bottom: Megan Ballard, Miriam Venman-Clay, Rachael Hudson, Phil Byrne